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What's your thoughts on rifle weight as it pertains to technique? I've heard a lot of people say the "heavy is steady" thing for offhand shooting, and that the heavier weight helps keep the rifle down in recoil. However I've also seen a lot of people making the push towards lighter and lighter rifles in the past few years, some even deciding to run SBRs.

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I know it will help transition times. I ran a light pcc for half a steel challenge and a heavy one for the other half. No comparison. The light was way quicker for me. Since a lot of time can be saved or spent on transitions and getting on target faster I prefer a light rifle.

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I think that might be a question that cant be answered. A lot of it depends on your person preference, your build and so on. I built a rifle that weighs just under 10lbs and hated it the first few times I shot it, it felt like I was swinging a telephone pole around. I switched to a rifle that weighs just over 8lbs and thought I liked it better but when I checked my past scores I did better with the heavy rifle. This past Saturday I used the 8lbs rifle and had 70 penalties that all came from rifle targets. I should have finished 2nd but it dropped me to 9th. The week before I used the 10lbs rifle and ran all the rifle targets clean and finished in 2nd. I don't know why but the heavy one works better for, me even on close bay shooting. So it might be hard for someone to tell you what is right for you. You might be better off trying other peoples rifles to see what weight, barrel length, etc. works best for you. 

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On 8/21/2017 at 10:43 PM, blacklab said:

I think that might be a question that cant be answered. A lot of it depends on your person preference, your build and so on. I built a rifle that weighs just under 10lbs and hated it the first few times I shot it, it felt like I was swinging a telephone pole around. I switched to a rifle that weighs just over 8lbs and thought I liked it better but when I checked my past scores I did better with the heavy rifle. This past Saturday I used the 8lbs rifle and had 70 penalties that all came from rifle targets. I should have finished 2nd but it dropped me to 9th. The week before I used the 10lbs rifle and ran all the rifle targets clean and finished in 2nd. I don't know why but the heavy one works better for, me even on close bay shooting. So it might be hard for someone to tell you what is right for you. You might be better off trying other peoples rifles to see what weight, barrel length, etc. works best for you. 

 

Dang! That is very interesting.....here I was thinking I wanted to build a lighter rifle...maybe I should get my hands on one , before jumping in feet first :D

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I've never checked my times and I've only been shooting 3 gun for a few months, but I think hoser targets/stage would benefit from having a lighter gun.  You definitely need to have a good muzzle brake and optionally a well tuned gas system so it runs flat.  

 

As far as mid/long distance free hand shooting, I could see where heavier would be beneficial as long as you don't fatigue holding the gun causing you to shake.

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I'm in the lighter is better camp. My current gun weighs just over 6 lbs with the scope. It is great on the short stuff and also for the longer range off hand stuff. The only problem is the accuracy with range fodder ammo sucks. For distance, I'm stuck using Blackhills or the like.

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I've tried a 6lb gun and usually run a 9.5lb gun. The heavier gun is superior in every way for me. Even the transitions where close enough not to matter. Try getting fast splits on paper at 50 yards with a light and med/heavy rifle and all the low mass parts in the world can't beat the physics that favor a couple more pounds. But I've seen a lot of people in both camps do well, so it probably doesn't matter as much as we like to think it does.

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Mine weighs about 12lb. It's what I'm used to, so it doesn't matter much. 

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I have both, haven't shot the lighter one in a match yet.  I've done okay with the heavier rifle.  Right now, I'm putting a .22 conversion bolt in my lightweight gun to try it on Steel Challenge. 

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I have learned over the years theres more to it than just light or heavy. How the rifle is weighted, front to back, is more important (to me) than simply looking at the overall weight. I would group rifles by weight into three categories, light 6-8 lbs, Medium 8-10lbs and heavy 10lbs +. My preference is a medium weight rifle with a heavy stock such as a Magpul PRS. My current rifle feels much lighter in the hands than its weight would make you believe. Its a tad over 9lbs but actually feels much lighter and it has a 20" fluted barrel. It is very quick in transitions and rock steady in the hands. Ive tried light rifles and for me they are difficult to hold steady, and heavy rifles just tire me out. Someone with a different build or technique may prefer something different. It takes trying different things to find what works best for you.

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On 9/28/2017 at 6:16 AM, JesseTischauser said:

Lighter feels faster but heavier is faster.  Unless your shooting the rifle like a pistol at close ranges 

 

Quoted for awesome!

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Heavy = more weight to soak up recoil, better chance to see splash on long range, less perceived wobble.

 

Light = faster transitions, more movement during recoil.

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I just upgraded to a vortex razor and added another 11oz and hate how it feels.  This brings my rifle to just over 10lbs.

 

But I will probably end up liking it in the end.  Similar to one of the above posters, I have gone back and forth between a heavier and lighter rifle.  Each time I am on the lighter one I feel as though I can’t control it very well and my shots are all over.  Then I go back to the heavy one and though I feel like I am fighting the rifle through out the stage, I end up with a good score and good splits.  

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I prefer a rifle right around 8-9lb with optic.

 

I think balance is more important than overall weight. Its all personal preference anyways.

I like a lighter (not pencil) profiled 14.5in or 16in gun personally. Good happy medium between transition speed and stability.

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I started with a 18" medium contour rifle, but have recently started playing with a 14.5" rifle. It does move slightly more under recoil though I'm liking the faster handling nature of a shorter lighter rifle. I think with the right adjustable gas system, bcg weight, and load a much lighter rifle can be just as competitive. 

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On 1/2/2019 at 8:35 AM, dkamps said:

I think balance is more important than overall weight. Its all personal preference anyways.

 

 

I think @dkamps got it exactly right.  I've found balance is the most important thing.  I used to have a LOT of problems shooting off-hand steel but then I asked Jordan about his rifle - see his answer here at 1:30:

 

I didn't do anything after that conversation ... but a few weeks later at SMM3G I was doing some video of Dan Horner showing someone his rifle. He said balance was his biggest consideration. The way he phrased it was that he wanted to be able to dump a shotgun and pick up his rifle one handed by the grip. He was using a Tacmod AR15 stock at 29oz.

 

So, I copied these two and bought a VLTOR stock and put enough lead shot in the compartment and battery tubes (I didn't epoxy them ... just in plastic bags) to get the stock up to 2lbs. The counter weight at the back of the rifle makes off hand shooting much faster for me.  Right now my rifle (unloaded) balances near my scope lever so it's very easy to hold one handed and much easier to shoot offhand.  

 

Here's an example at 2:53 (top) shooting offhand with an almost 3lb stock. We've had stages like this before and I would have used the props to brace. With a balanced rifle I felt much more confident offhand.

 

 

Edited by emjbe

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Mine is 3.3 kg unloaded, adding half a kilo for a full 30 rd mag the weight stops at 3.8 kg (that's 3800 grams).

 

It's an 18" medium profile, but the iron sights saves about 500 grams compared to a scope, and means the rifle doesn't get so top heavy. Handles really nice.

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I've said it on here before but I prefer a heavier rifle.  I think it is more steady and yields better results than the lighter gun for me.   Under the clock I was never able to see much difference transition wise compared too my light guns on all the close stuff but at distance I could tell a difference.  My 18 rifle with optics weighed just under 11 pounds and I shot it better than any other rifle own.

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i have a 11 lb rifle and a 7 lb rifle and i dont see much of a difference between the two.  i generally use the lighter rifle because carrying all that weight throughout stages for the whole day gets tiresome so i want to swing around as little weight as possible

 

that being said i think once you reach the 6-8lb weight on a rifle thats generally as good as it gets. 

i think at that point if you reduce weight by a pound or increase weight you wont see any difference

ie: a 5 lb rifle wont make you shoot better than a 6 or 7 lb rifle

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